Local News

Schools Announce Delays; Drivers Should Use Caution on Secondary Roads

Posted February 21, 2001

— While no major traffic problems have been reported, and main roads appear dry and clear of ice, morning commuters should take it easy along secondary roads where wet spots may refreeze.

Orange County, Durham Public schools, Chatham County schools and Rocky Mount Charter School have announced that they will be operating on a two-hour delay Friday.

Wyatt Currin, transportation director for Wake County schools, says he plays a key role in deciding whether or not the 700 school buses will roll out on time.

"We come in early in the morning, stay in contact with the National Weather Bureau, Emergency Management and the Highway Patrol," he says.

If things freeze up, the roads are not the only place people can expect delays. De-icing planes can add precious minutes onto your trip, and bad weather up north can mean headaches.

"Anybody traveling tomorrow, especially early tomorrow morning into the northeast corridor, would do well to call their carrier before coming out to the airport," says RDU International spokesman Mike Blanton.

A heavy burst of precipitation fell over Durham and Chatham counties Thursday morning. The field at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park was covered with snow.

Snow fell mainly north of the Triangle. A mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain fell in Raleigh, with a mix of rain and freezing rain reported in southern areas, including Fayetteville and Goldsboro.

Two deaths are being blamed on the weather. In Wake County, a Bellhaven woman died after her son lost control of his car on U.S. 264 near Zebulon. A 17-year-old Winston-Salem girl lost control of her car while driving to school on slick roads.

Several minor accidents were reported around the Triangle. In some areas, the precipitation fell too fast to melt on the roads.

The Durham Police Department was so busy that officers had trouble keeping up.

"We had many accidents where people were waiting. We just didn't have cars to dispatch them," says Lt. Ed Sarvis.

Near Zebulon, a woman died when her son lost control of his car during some of the heaviest freezing rain. Troopers say he jumped the guard rail and flipped over on Highway 264 around 10:30 a.m. Here are weather reports collected by the National Weather Service in Raleigh:

  • Alamance County: 3/4 to 1 inch of snow and sleet in Graham
  • Durham, Orange counties: Not much accumulation
  • Franklin County: Thin coating of sleet
  • Halifax County: Thin coating of ice
  • Johnston County: Nothing on the roads
  • Nash County: Thin coating of ice on secondary roads
  • Person County: 1/4 to 1 inch of snow and sleet on the ground
  • Vance County: About 1 inch of sleet
  • Wake County: Slick roads, light ice on the ground
  • Wilson County: No problems-->

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